Let's take an island adventure to Belize and explore some common cultural facts (and their impact on the training and development market).
Test your knowledge of Belizean culture with the true or false questions below:
- True or False? Belizeans take a relaxed approach to most things.
- True or False? The official language of Belize is English.
Quick Tips for Training & Development in Belize1:
- Facts alone do not substantiate a convincing argument. A person's feelings and individual perspectives are considered valuable when identifying the "truth" about a topic.
- The relaxed culture of the Belizean people lends to risk taking, but Belizean's tend to avoid high-stress situations or direct confrontation.
- Belize is a very masculine society. Women are not common in government or executive business roles. Keep this in mind when localizing images for business use and in forming your training teams.
- Belizeans take a casual approach to time in relational settings but expect foreigners to be punctual for business appointments. Project deadlines are typically seen as guidelines or suggestions rather than final completion dates.
- You will find it difficult to conduct business in Belize unless you are a native Belizean or can hire a local contact to represent your firm.
- Belizeans base business decisions on relationships and personal affinity.
- Business communications occur in English not English Creole.
- Spelling follows British English not American.
- Many Belizeans have lived or spent time in the United States (so American gestures are familiar).
Culture Quiz Answers:
- True. Island culture prevails.
- True. English is the official language however the local dialect is a form of English Creole that is incoherent to most English speakers. Spanish, Plautdietsch (a German dialect), and other indigenous languages are also spoken in Belize.
1Morrison, Terri, and Wayne A. Conaway, Kiss, Bow, Or Shake Hands, 2nd ed. (Avon: Adams Media, 2006).